Forgotten Thoughts

upon hearing the news
i wondered
had i wished for this?
voices echoing in my head
“be careful”
“be careful what you wish for”

johnnie walker johnnie walker
absent eggs & bacon, coffee brewing
morning smells
his breath was johnnie walker

and her
better get an A
spirit broken — nervous
better get an A
i’d work to keep her home
no trouble, i’d be no trouble
i’d get that A
ashamed i wished them dead

the best they could
they had done
the best they could
and for that
i wished them life

i left
trying to protect you
into the night
severing my tongue
afraid to disappoint
to protect you
i could live this lie
hoping you would die
before i’d get caught

what about your brothers
would this hurt your brothers?
she asked
he says
this is not the dream i had for you
had they wished me dead?

upon hearing the news
pregnant with desire father of dreams
my veins filled with poisoned liquid
my eyes now veiled
i remember at sixteen on a bridge i wanted to jump
getting the news
cysts and discharged fluid
hardening on the breast i once suckled
she cut and stapled in one day in the same week
he was cut and stapled
after his river of life refused to flow

i remember
at the side of the grave
children lowered
wailing mother
_______ “oh, Lord, why?
_______ take me, i have nothing now
_______ please, take me”
i had thought
“those that have given life
should not have to lay it to rest”
i remembered
upon hearing the news
what i had wished for.

© B.Michael Hunter 1994

Written at Bread Loaf Writing Workshop, Andover MA


Bread Loaf

B.Michael attended Bread Loaf, a life-changing summer program that braided his passions for learning, teaching and writing. He manifested a handful of poems (scroll to 1994) that are included on this site.

Below are a couple of B.Michael’s writing exercises from that summer.


And here, for the record, his final grade!